Motion Picture Assn. going viral

MPAA developing Website devoted to movies

The Motion Picture Assn. of America is developing a one-stop website on behalf of its studio members that will help users find movies online without resorting to piracy.

Currently unnamed site would let users search by film title and then provide links to options including purchasing theatrical tickets, buying or renting the DVD and legally downloading the pic.

All of the major studios are expected to support the site, which fits into the MPAA’s overall strategy to fight online movie piracy.

According to a studio source, the new website is a response to research that found consumers sometimes have trouble differentiating between legal and illegal ways to watch and buy movies via the Net.

It’s believed that the site will link to any legit partner. That could benefit Netcos ranging from Fandango to Netflix, Apple’s iTunes and Sony’s PlayStation Store.

Website will essentially be a directory run by the MPAA. The not-for-profit venture should help studios avoid the legal and business headaches they have encountered on past joint ventures on the Net such as Movielink, which they eventually sold to Blockbuster.

An MPAA spokesman declined to comment on the plans but noted, “We’re always looking for ways to provide consumers easy access to legal alternatives.”

According to a survey the MPAA recently conducted online, names currently under consideration for the site include Movie Market, Red Carpet Flix, Film Depot and Flickz.